Best Manufacturing Practices 20 Best Manufacturing Practices 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Lead Time Reduction Reducción en los Tiempos de Orden/Producción/ Entrega Streamlined Flow Flujos Continuos y Eficientes Quick Changeover Cambios Rapido de Producto Cellular Manufacturing (Focused Factories) Manufactura por Celdas Empowered Teams Empoderamiento de los Equipos Cross-Functional Teamwork Trabajo en Equipo Multidisciplinario Associate Involvement & Commitment Participación y Compromiso de los Asociados Process Reliability Confiabilidad de los Procesos Continuous Improvement Mejoramiento Continuo Quality In-Process Calidad en el Proceso Seamless Shift Operations Continuidad en los Cambios de Turno Standard Operating Procedures Procedimientos Estándares de Operación Goal Deployment Despliegue de Metas Visual Management Systems Sistemas de Gestión Visual Incentives, Rewards & Recognition Incentivos, Premios y Reconocimiento Plant Safety, Loss Prevention & Housekeeping Seguridad Industrial, Prevención de Pérdidas y Limpieza High-Performance Leadership Liderazgo de Alto Rendimiento Supplier Partnerships Colaboración/Alianza con Proveedores Cross-Training & Multi-Skilling Capacitación Multidisciplinaria World-Class Performance Measures Medidas de Rendimiento de Clase Mundial Faster, Better, Cheaper In today’s competitive marketplace, plant managers must continue to look for ways to improve perational effectiveness. Based on our experience in plant operations worldwide, we have identified 20 Best Manufacturing Practices utilized by world-class companies to meet increasingly demanding customer expectations and continually improve operating performance. Excellence in each of these areas can improve your competitiveness, but collectively, they have a synergistic effect that can provide your facility with a real competitive edge and preferred supplier status from your customers. Let’s take a brief look at these Best Practices and learn how to create a leaner, more productive manufacturing operation. 1. Lead Time Reduction In the 1960s and 1970s, manufacturers focused on cost reduction to gain a competitive advantage. In the 1980s, quality was all the rage and quality improvement initiatives were as numerous as the companies that implemented them. The emphasis today is squarely on speed. The ability to respond to customer demand quickly pays big dividends in terms of market share, but also helps to reduce costs and improve quality. Rapid-response manufacturing involves the continuous and relentless pursuit of lead time reduction. Customer lead time is the time that elapses between order placement and order fulfillment. One of the ways to reduce lead times is to eliminate waste in the manufacturing process. Basically, manufacturing waste is any activity that adds time or cost to the product or its delivery without adding value. One of the chief aims of Lean Manufacturing is to remove non-value-added steps (waste) from the value stream, cutting costs, improving quality and speeding delivery. Through effective lead time reduction efforts, many plants have seen lead times slashed by 50-90%. What’s more, this is often achieved with zero hiring and minimal capital investment. The first step to reducing lead times is to determine current lead times. For each product (or product family), create a time allocation chart from customer order to product delivery, showing the time elapsed for each process in the value stream. Then, analyze each step to identify ways to contract the time required to complete it. Most companies find that the biggest time category is waiting. The longer the production run and the larger the lot size transferred between work centers, the longer the product will wait in-process. Long production runs may improve equipment utilization on a particular line, but they tie up equipment and extend lead times. You’ll have to decide which is more important to your customers. Lead time reduction is a continuous process. On the first iteration, we can usually identify ways to cut lead times by 50% within 6 months. On the next analysis, another 50% may be cut. After several iterations, it is easy to see how many manufacturers have reduced lead times from weeks to days and from days to hours. Should you pursue lead time reduction? The best way to answer this is to consider your customers’ current and future needs. Is there an opportunity to boost customer satisfaction or gain market share by cutting response times? For more and more companies today, the answer is “yes”. Otherwise, you might focus instead on a cost or quality improvement initiative. 2. Streamlining Flow Streamlined (or Demand) Flow refers to the way production operations are structured. It is a powerful technique that can dramatically cut inventory levels and manufacturing lead times. Traditional manufacturing plants use a push production strategy. Production schedules are developed for each area based on sales forecasts, each area runs at maximum capacity and material is pushed downstream. Under a "push" system, it is easy to determine which operations are running at peak efficiency: their downstream customers are buried in product. In an effort to maximize the utilization of each process, (local optimization) mountains of inventory appear between work centers throughout the plant, interrupting material flow, disconnecting work centers and extending response times. In a pull system, material flow is triggered when a customer order "pulls" material from finished goods inventory. Through a signaling process, the preceding work station produces a replenishment supply and this work center signals its upstream work center to produce more units and the process continues up the line. Production is always triggered by demand from the next work center. The objective of Pull Manufacturing is to simplify production scheduling, minimize lead times and inventories, and to improve linkages between processes for better corrective action. "Pull" better links the production process to customer demand. Such systems are designed to respond with minimal cost and waste and to enable the manufacturing process to flex to meet minor changes in demand volume and mix. The strategy is simple, visible, and controlled and "owned" by shop floor personnel. The tool typically used to control process flow is the kanban, a visual signal (a card, storage area, electronic signal, etc.) that notifies the upstream operation whether additional product is needed at the downstream operation. Permission to produce is given not by upstream to downstream processes but vice versa, depending on the quantity of material in process or in queue at the downstream operation. When there is a problem in a downstream operation that halts production, a signal is sent to temporarily halt upstream operations to avoid build-up of inventory. Obviously, such a system requires that production interruptions be rare to avoid halting production plant-wide. That is the reason pull systems require process reliability. Under a traditional "push" scenario, operating problems are hidden because the rest of the operations continue to produce WIP inventory. Designing the proper pull system pays big dividends, but depends on the characteristics of each manufacturing operation. While a pull system has inherent advantages over a traditional push system, contrary to what some believe, not all product lines in every plant lend themselves to a pull methodology. 3. Quick Changeover (QCO) The ability to change products quickly at the end of a production run serves an important goal: to be able to schedule shorter production runs without sacrificing cost efficiency. As long as line changeovers are lengthy, costly and inefficient, production will be scheduled in long runs to minimize changeovers and plant personnel will continue to dread schedule changes. To become a world-class manufacturer, you need to develop QCO (or set-up time reduction) capability. Like lead time reduction, QCO is a continuous process that squeezes time out of a non-producing activity. The chief aim is to increase manufacturing flexibility. It reduces costs because of the ability to schedule shorter production runs and therefore store less WIP inventory. It facilitates continuous quality improvement because shorter runs enable improved lot tracking, shop floor accountability and corrective action. And it speeds delivery because products don’t spend a lot of time in queue waiting for equipment that is in the middle of a long production run of another product. To be effective at QCO, you need to be able to secure change parts quickly, install change parts precisely, and produce the first unit perfectly. The first step in the set-up time reduction process is baselining. Each step in the current procedure must be documented and analyzed before improvement can begin. The standard method for reducing changeover time is as follows: 1. Assemble the QCO team (often called SWAT – Special Work Action Team) which may include set-up technicians, maintenance technicians and manufacturing engineers. 2. Observe and videotape the set-up process, from completion of one run to the efficient production of the next. 3. Document the changeover by classifying the elements of the process and the time they take. Useful categories include: preparation work, removal of old parts, installation of new parts, run preparation (adjustments) trial and buy-off/approval. 4. Begin the improvement process by analyzing each of the elements of the changeover and eliminating unnecessary, non-value-added steps. 5. Classify the elements as either internal (those that must be accomplished while the line is down) or external (those that can be accomplished while the line is running). 6. Develop a process to complete all future external changeover activities prior to equipment shut down. 7. Analyze the remaining internal elements and modify those steps so they can be completed externally (prior to set-up). 8. Reduce the time required for internal elements. First select those steps that take the greatest amount of time. 9. By using the standard problem-solving process, identify root causes and develop solutions to start-up quality problems. 10. Lastly, analyze all external activities and identify ways to reduce this preparation time. The above process can and should be repeated multiple times for a given operation. Many companies have experienced 90%-plus reductions in set-up time after three iterations. 4. Cellular Manufacturing (Focused Factories) Cellular Manufacturing (CM) represents an alternative organizational structure that seeks to reduce manufacturing lead times, improve product cost, quality and delivery and create an associate involvement and continuous improvement structure. CM consists of a series of product-focused work groups (cells) which house all operations to manufacture a family of products. The cell is dedicated to manufacturing those products requiring similar operations. While a traditional manufacturing environment is organized functionally with similar machines in one area (for example, all molding machines in the Molding Dept.), CM operates like a series of plants-within-a-plant, each starting with raw materials and ending with finished product, with all operations being performed in the cell. Machines in manufacturing cells are located within close proximity to minimize product transportation (a form of manufacturing waste) and to maintain continuous flow with zero inventory between operations. The manufacturing cell is operated by a team of empowered, multiskilled operators who have complete responsibility for quality and delivery performance within the cell. Guidelines for Successful Cell Implementation 1. Make a business case for CM. Many cellular efforts falter at this first critical step. It is important to ask why you are implementing cellular manufacturing. Is it in response to a competitive threat? Are you losing market share to competitors with better delivery performance? Are your customers demanding shorter lead times than your current operation can deliver? Are they complaining about missed or late shipments, poor quality or high costs? These are legitimate reasons to considering CM. The fact that someone read about it in the business press or attended an interesting seminar is NOT a valid reason, and will likely lead to failure. 2. Start with a success. There are two considerations here. First, identify products (or product families) where productivity, quality or delivery improvements are highly visible and can make a big difference to the organization. To identify product families, focus on the common set of operations needed to manufacture the products in the cell. If an important customer is complaining about late deliveries on a specific product line, it might make sense to create a cell around these products. Second, consider a pilot cell in an area where workers are enthused and excited about participating in new methods. Worker attitudes can make or break a cell implementation. Start with the right people and success will be contagious throughout the rest of the organization. 3. Create the cell. Locate all resources, machines and equipment that will be used by the cell in a dedicated area in the plant. In some cases, it will be impossible or impractical to relocate large, centralized processes, so alternative arrangements must be made. To the extent possible, the cell should be selfcontained, meaning that all the operations required to manufacture the cell's products should be located together. Minimize the cell's dependence on resources or operations external to the cell. Again, the key is to focus on the common set of operations needed to manufacture the products in the cell. 4. Cross-train workers in each of the cell's operations. One of the hallmarks of CM is multiskilled operators who can move freely as needed between work centers within a cell. Providing training on manufacturing concepts like lean manufacturing, lead times, process flow, set-up time reduction, total productive maintenance, and problem-solving/continuous improvement methodologies will go a long way toward building a high-performance manufacturing cell. 5. Fine-tune the cell's performance. Gradually reduce batch/lot sizes and setup/changeover times, while involving cell members in improving quality and productivity. Institute a formalized continuous improvement or kaizen system to make consistent improvements in cell cost, quality and delivery. CM, when properly implemented, can result in huge performance gains for your operation. Lead time reductions of 50-80%, quality improvements of 25-50% and product cost reductions of 10-30% are typical. 5. Empowered Work Teams Imagine that your shop floor is comprised into teams that are focused every day on solving operating problems and continuously improving performance. Without prodding from management, these teams review performance against goals, discuss operating problems and agree on and implement solutions. The entire process is controlled by the team. Management provides coaching, guidance, training and support. Many managers have tried to develop empowered teams during the 1990s to improve operating efficiencies, solve production problems and achieve customer satisfaction goals, but were disappointed when cost savings and quality improvements never materialized. Based on my research and consulting work in plants world-wide, I’ve identified some of the key determinants of team success and some Best Practices for developing truly effective, empowered teams. The biggest impediments to effective teams are: Unclear goals and purpose Ineffective team leadership Lack of group meeting or problem-solving skills Lack of clear roles and responsibilities Poor coordination with other teams and organizational units Lack of management support If you’re thinking about developing a true team structure, experience shows that one of the surest ways to kill a team initiative before you even start is to announce to the work force that you’ll be implementing teams. The word team often conjures up a whole set of fears and concerns among associates, particularly if you’ve had a history of unsuccessful “improvement” programs in the past. Instead, to borrow the Nike tagline, “just do it.” Treat them like a team, and they will become one. This strategy has helped numerous organizations develop team capability while minimizing the risks of failure. Rather than announcing that all associates will be part of a team, help them become one. For example: Meet with them as a team, near the work area out in the plant Discuss plant goals and help them to develop supporting team goals Identify resources & support needed to operate at peak efficiency Conduct brief problem-solving discussions Post team performance results and activities Develop and post a team training matrix Encourage them to give their team a name (e.g., The “Renegades”) Help them develop a team mission Develop a performance-based team reward system Develop team leadership skills among your supervisors Just what can empowered teams accomplish? They helped one manufacturer of airbags for sport utility vehicles achieve a first-pass yield of 99.7% and a 100% on-time delivery rate. While teams aren't a panacea for all that ails an organization, if implemented correctly, they can help you to achieve a significant competitive advantage. 6. Cross-Functional Teams Manufacturing plants have external customers and suppliers, but the organization itself can be viewed as a network of internal customers and suppliers as well. For example, in a painting operation, the internal customer might be the assembly line (for products.) The painting area’s internal suppliers might include the injection molding operation (for products) the Maintenance department (for repair services) and the HR department (for providing skilled personnel.) Surprisingly, even in many supposedly effective teambased organizations, there is often poor coordination, communication, cooperation and collaboration between teams. This is unfortunate because a world-class organization is more than a group in independent teams, but a network of teams working in collaboration. Often, problems with organizational teamwork arise when allocating scarce resources or prioritizing projects. While business goals should unify the organization, there are often inter-team or inter-departmental conflicts that inhibit process improvement. This is why it is often helpful to consider not just team and department goals, but internal customer-supplier relationships. For example, let’s say that one of our plant’s goals is to reduce cost per unit by 10%. To support this objective, the Maintenance department identifies ways to cut its own operating expenses and decides to reduce training or spare parts inventory. But these cuts may not best serve their internal customer, the Operations group, because fewer spare parts and less training may result in longer equipment downtime, and thus, higher total manufacturing costs. This phenomenon, known as local optimization, impedes system-wide performance. Developing internal customer-supplier relationships is one solution to the problem. Here’s how it works: 1. For each group or team in the organization, identify the internal customers and suppliers. 2. Through surveys, interviews or discussions between the team, its customers and its suppliers, clarify performance expectations. 3. Develop mutually agreeable goals centered around these expectations that are consistent with plant goal. 4. Measure internal customer/supplier satisfaction along the value stream. Some companies use c/s report cards, and part of each area’s responsibility is to maximize the satisfaction of their internal customers. 5. Continue to improve the working relationship and satisfaction of customers and suppliers for each team and reevaluate goals and expectations as necessary for any improvement initiative to be effective, the entire organization must support it. Internal customer/supplier interfaces can be instrumental in optimizing organizational teamwork and performance. 7. Associate Involvement Contrary to what many believe, Associate Involvement (AI) is not the solution to all of an organization’s challenges. In fact, if it’s done improperly, implementing AI can be worse than doing nothing at all! The concept behind AI is that associates have valuable ideas to contribute and when managers help them to implement those ideas, plant performance improves considerably. Every world-class manufacturer has effective mechanisms for involving associates in operational improvement and decision-making activities. When such a system is working well, the organization is more responsive, performance goals are achieved more quickly, managers and supervisors spend less time firefighting and associates are motivated to perform. AI can take many forms: 1. Top-Down Communication – Associates receive information from management during a meeting. 2. Two-way communication – Associates contribute to a discussion with management, while the latter reserves final decision-making authority. 3. Task Forces – Associates participate in temporary team meetings to recommend solutions to a specific problem. 4. Quality Circles – Associates participate in more permanent meeting structures and recommend solutions to problems specific to their work area. 5. Cross-Functional Teams – Associates participate in plant-wide committees and steering groups which have some decision-making authority. 6. Work Teams – Associates meet regularly with their co-workers to identify operational improvements. Some decisions are made by the team. 7. Empowered (Self-Directed) Work Teams – Associates have broad decision-making authority and accountability for operating performance. The most successful organizations make use of all AI options at the appropriate times. For example, a safety or quality steering committee may be considered a task force or cross-functional team. Monthly allhands meetings would qualify as top-down communications. The idea is not to start scheduling lots of employee meetings, but to use the right mechanisms and to ensure that they are achieving their intended objectives. One comment I often hear from managers is: “Our people don’t want additional responsibility or involvement. They want to put in their 8 hours and go home!”In talking with tens of thousands of associates, I have a different perspective. Probably 20% of your workers DO want to be left alone. But research and experience show that the other 80% prefer to be involved and would welcome additional responsibility if the involvement process is executed properly. Typically, the “vocal negatives” either leave the organization, mark time until retirement or, through peer pressure, be compelled to cooperate -- or at least not impede. The trick is to focus on consistently engaging a critical mass of associates at the highest levels of involvement. With so many AI options and with the numerous advantages AI offers, why are so few plants good at it? The answer is that AI cannot be mandated, nor is it even a “program”. It requires that everyone from senior management to the front line truly believe in participative management and commit to doing it right. There are four vital components to a fully engaged work force. Just remember “A.D.A.M”: 1. Ability – Associates need to know HOW to participate and contribute meaningfully. Just because someone has operated a piece of equipment for 30 years doesn’t mean he understands it enough to troubleshoot problems. In addition to job training, many world-class organizations have invested in process training for associates so that they understand the WHYs and HOWs of the process. Also, training in problem-solving and team skills give associates the ability and self-confidence to engage in problemsolving and continuous improvement, the keys to becoming world-class. 2. Direction – Associates need to understand where to focus their improvement efforts. With regular coaching and communication from plant floor leaders, associates will better understand business priorities, customer requirements and which areas need improvement. Without proper direction, associates may discuss and solve problems, but they may not be the ones on which the plant needs to focus, and real performance improvements may never materialize. 3. Authority – A truly empowered associate must have the authority to make decisions on the shop floor. Depending on the process, line operators in many plants have the authority to shut down a line that is producing substandard product if the problem cannot be immediately solved. But many teams have broad authority to determine saleability of a product, manage a small budget for improvement ideas, suggest and implement improvements without management approval, etc. Authority, however, cannot simply be granted. It must flow from the prior training and direction that associates are given so that it can be utilized appropriately. 4. Motivation – Associates have to perceive personal benefits from getting involved and assuming responsibilities outside their day-to-day job duties. For some, this could mean more recognition and a chance to voice an opinion. For others, it could be genuine appreciation from supervisors and managers. For still others, more money, in the form of performance incentives, would be much appreciated! One final point on AI. It is not a Quality of Life program. The only valid reason for engaging associates is because it is this partnership that will make your plant more competitive. 8. Process Reliability Process reliability is an effort to maximize equipment uptime and predictability in order to optimize Productivity, Quality and Speed. One way to improve equipment reliability is through Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). TPM is a philosophy of continuous improvement that seeks to achieve Zero Breakdowns and Zero Defects through proper equipment maintenance and sustained operator involvement. It helps to eliminate losses on the shop floor -- losses that increase manufacturing cost through sub-standard quality, reduced plant capacity, reduced asset utilization and longer production lead times. TPM recognizes six major losses: 1. Breakdown losses result in equipment downtime for repairs and are unexpected. Associated costs include downtime, labor and spare parts. 2. Set-up and adjustment losses occur during product changeovers, shift change or other changes in operating conditions. Ramp-up efficiency losses would be included in this category. 3. Minor stoppage losses are typically from zero to 10 minutes in length and include machine jams and other brief stoppages that are difficult to record manually. As a result, these losses are usually hidden from efficiency reports and are built into machine capabilities. When combined, they can represent substantial equipment downtime. 4. Speed losses occur when equipment must be slowed down to prevent quality defects or minor stoppages. In most cases, this loss is not recorded because the equipment continues to operate, though at a lower speed. Speed losses obviously have a negative effect on productivity and asset utilization. 5. Quality defect losses are caused by the manufacture of defective or substandard products, which must be reworked or scrapped. These losses include the labor and material costs (if scrapped) associated with the off-specification production. 6. Yield losses reflect the wasted raw materials associated with the quantity of rejects and scrap that result from start-ups, changeovers, equipment limitations, poor product design, etc. It excludes the category 5 defect losses that result during normal production. Collectively, these six losses determine the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), which is a multiplicative combination of equipment availability (losses 1 & 2), equipment performance (losses 3 & 4) and yield rate (losses 5 & 6). TPM seeks to reduce these losses. In a typical company, OEE tends to be between 50-60%; “world-class” for most industries is considered to be 85%-plus. TPM, often referred to as Autonomous Maintenance (which is technically one aspect of TPM) involves small group activities with participation from Maintenance and Operations personnel on the shop floor. The objective is to teach operators how to maintain their equipment by performing daily checks and lubrication, replacing worn or damaged parts, performing minor repairs and detecting abnormal conditions before a breakdown or loss occurs. The standard program involves seven steps: Step 1: Initial cleaning Step 2: Prevention of contamination Step 3: Develop cleaning/lubrication standards Step 4: Conduct thorough overall inspection Step 5: Develop maintenance standards Step 6: Develop process quality assurance plan Step 7: Self-supervision and continuous improvement The result is improved equipment reliability, higher-skilled workers who have "ownership" of their equipment and increased productivity, quality and plant capacity. 9. Continuous Improvement A Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) plan, when properly implemented and led, will help you achieve business objectives faster while increasing associate job satisfaction. Let’s clarify what CPI is and what it isn't -- and how it works in world-class operations. First off, CPI isn’t a committee or individual responsible for “coordinating” ongoing improvement activities. While coordinators serve an important purpose, they often function in a centralized reporting capacity. Often, more attention is paid to measuring, collecting and reporting improvement data than to actually improving operations! The coordinator role is most valuable when teams all over the plant are actively involved in projects to improve specific manufacturing processes. Also, CPI isn’t merely a goal-setting process. While continuous improvement goals are useful, having a goal and having a plan for achieving it are two completely different things. Many managers spend two months in goal-setting discussions and little or no time training their people and engaging them in improving their processes. Finally, CPI isn’t a request to employees that they submit lots of suggestions to make things better. While suggestion systems can be an important element of CPI, improvements probably aren’t adequately targeted to significantly improve your bottom line. So what is CPI? CPI is an operating principle that basically says, “On a daily basis, all levels in our organization are actively implementing means of reducing costs, improving quality and speeding delivery in each of our processes.” That is, day-to-day focus on making small, incremental improvements in every facet of the operation. The basic approach to CPI involves 7 steps: 1. Measure current performance (use customer-focused key performance indicators to measure productivity, quality and delivery). 2. Set operating level goals that are specific, measurable and actionable 3. Identify obstacles impeding goal achievement (a root cause analysis helps the teams to focus problemsolving efforts). 4. Develop solutions to improve performance (problem-solving process) 5. Execute the plan (the team agrees on an implementation plan, which includes specific responsibilities and due dates). 6. Measure performance to ensure goal achievement and 7. Recognize and reward accomplishments (a creative rewards system recognizes individuals, teams and the overall plant for a job well done). Simultaneous improvement of all manufacturing processes is only possible with total plant floor involvement. In high-performance operations, operators are trained in statistical process control and problem-solving methods. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each process provide information on root causes of sub-standard performance. Responsibility for quality control rests not with the Quality department, but with the operators themselves. Operators are often members of quality improvement teams, charged with identifying the root causes of quality problems and eliminating them. They have quick access to engineers and quality specialists to help with the elimination of defects. Another approach to continuous improvement involves Kaizen Events or Blitzes. These are highly standardized, rapid improvement activities are scheduled over a several-day period and involve a specific process or area. Whereas CPI consists of small, incremental, on-going advances in operational effectiveness, Kaizen Events seek to achieve larger, one-time gains in a specific area. The combination of these two approaches can be quite powerful. A northeastern manufacturer and distributor of software, through 124 continuous improvement events, cut $2 million in labor, material and other costs. In addition, machine uptime improved to 99.87%. 10. In-Process Quality Another characteristic of world-class operations is the ability, authority and accountability that shop floor personnel have to control and improve product quality. When shop floor personnel are disconnected from this important responsibility, some unwanted things occur: 1. Quality improvement is slow and temporary because the people most familiar with the operation aren’t part of the solution 2. Associates remain apathetic about their jobs and about quality because they feel they have little or no control over them 3. There are higher levels of scrap and rework, and therefore, higher manufacturing costs because shop floor personnel are out of the control loop 4. High levels of customer quality satisfaction are only possible through costly and time-consuming post-production inspection 5. The relationship between the Operations and Quality groups is strained In world-class operations, there is a vitally important role that the Quality function plays. It provides a host of services to support the Operations group and help them to control and improve quality: 1. 2. 3. 4. Training in statistical process control (SPC) and other tools Visual standards to assist operators in determining whether product meets quality specifications QA functions that require centralized testing Training to the shop floor in the technical aspects of the product The line operator’s responsibility should include the following: 1. Be able to discern whether a product meets quality standards 2. Have the authority to shut down a line to correct a quality defect 3. Have the authority to pass or reject a product without relying on the Quality group or on the chain of 4. 5. 6. 7. command Have the support of the Quality group and supervisors if needed in making quality decisions Be proficient in the use of quality tools to be able to control quality at the work center Understand how to make process adjustments when necessary to control product quality Understand the process well enough to determine root causes of quality problems or be able to participate meaningfully in a quality improvement meeting Certainly, some operations are very complex technologically. One person may not understand the complex physics and chemistry enough to know immediately why a quality problem is occurring. But shop floor operators need the ability, authority and accountability to ensure quality standards are maintained and product quality continually improves, to the extent that the manufacturing process will allow. Many organizations have initiated a Six Sigma improvement process, a rigorous, data-driven strategy for improving a process using statistical data and problemsolving tools. Also, Statistical Process Control (SPC), when properly utilized and understood by operators, can be an important part of a Process Quality initiative. It is important to invest the time in training a few teams at a time and helping them develop a comfort level in the proper use of new quality tools. A Six Sigma process requires significant training and is best suited for those with a highly developed quality program and strong leadership and problem-solving capability already present within the organization. For those will less mature quality efforts, an SPC program is a better way to advance quality efforts at the early stages. 11. High-Performance Shift Operations Multishift operations present unique challenges because of the potential for inefficiencies and "disconnects" that can impair operating performance and customer satisfaction. Managing shift operations can be like running several different companies at the same time. Each shift change brings a new team of people with different skills, attitudes, needs and objectives. What is needed is a management strategy that fosters common goals and a seamless flow of information, processes and products. These are some of the problems that need to be addressed in round-the-clock operations: 1. There is competition but no cooperation or teamwork between shifts 2. Operating procedures are inconsistent across shifts 3. Process improvement is slow because it is difficult to establish consensus across shifts on a proper course of action 4. Emphasis is on shift production quotas versus process improvement 5. When a problem occurs, the blame game starts. Management must intervene and sort out the problem 6. Associates on the late shifts are often excluded from daily business activities and improvement efforts 7. There is a shift imbalance in terms of skills and support services, making high efficiency and standardization difficult 8. Communication between crews at shift change is irregular and ineffective 9. Management support and visibility are largely absent after regular business hours 10. Management communications are limited to quarterly state-of-the-business meetings 11. Shift problems are considered necessary evils and allowed to continue year after year Most multishift operations need nothing less than a complete revision of the 24-hour management system. A good approach is achieving excellence in the 5Cs: 1. Communication - Ensuring effective cross-shift communication is one of the greatest challenges for managers in round-the-clock operations. Arriving and departing shifts must have contact at shift change so key information such as operating problems, production priority and process improvement can be discussed. This helps eliminate operating errors, rework, scrap and quality problems. The best systems include both verbal and written mechanisms, designed in part by the people the will be using them. 2. Coordination - Despite the fact that employees typically report to separate shift supervisors, shifts are, in fact, interdependent and must work in unison toward common goals. The lack of a team concept across shifts leads to the problems typically associated with multishift operations. Many companies have adopted cross-shift teams whereby all those working on a given process, regardless of shift assignment, are teammates. 3. Continuity - Continuity is “built-in” for highly automated processes like those in the chemical, paper and petroleum industries. But many batch and job shop operations shut down temporarily at shift change. Shift change procedures must be modified to maximize equipment uptime and maintain product quality across shifts. To avoid lost production time and reduced plant capacity, early quits and late starts must be eliminated. Production priority must be known so that time is not wasted searching for a supervisor to determine the day's schedule. Materials and supplies must be set up in advance so time is not wasted locating, transporting and staging them. 4. Consistency - Operating procedures should not vary from shift to shift. Consistency in processes minimizes quality problems and helps control costs and cycle times. It also facilitates problem solving and corrective action because the "proper" procedures are known and followed on all shifts. (See Standard Operating Procedures, page 15.) 5. Commitment - A committed, motivated work force is important in any organization. Managers must ensure that non-day employees remain "connected" to the organization and do not feel disenfranchised. The management team and support services groups must eradicate the '8-to-5 mindset' and recognize the unique needs of shift associates. This can have a positive effect on a company's ability to manage turnover and retain sufficient staffing on nights and weekends. Another important aspect of a high-performance shift operation is the shift schedule. The right shift schedule can optimize equipment and capacity utilization, improve associate alertness and safety and satisfy associates’ needs for quality time off. On the other hand, a shift schedule that is inappropriate for a given plant can result in excessive overtime and idle time costs and create a safety hazard as fatigued, low morale workers have inadequate recuperative time off. Each plant has specific operating requirements (24/7, Monday to Friday 3 shifts, etc.) At the same time, each plant has different associate demographics and therefore different preferences for time off, shift starting times, etc. There are rotating shift and fixed shift schedules, 8-hour, 10-hour, 12-hour and hybrid schedules and a whole host of other schedule design considerations. In fact, there are mathematically thousands of possible schedule variations. Plant management’s task is to ensure that the plant is staffed so that operating costs are minimized, safety performance is optimized and there is general satisfaction with the work schedule. In a multishift operation, there will never be 100% schedule agreement and satisfaction as nights and weekends are the nature of the business. But our work with plants world-wide shows that if shift schedules are designed properly and implemented with the involvement of shop floor personnel, satisfaction can be 85% or higher. The basic process for developing and implementing the optimal shift schedule for your operation is as follows: 1. Conduct kick-off meetings on all shifts 2. Analyze operational requirements and determine management boundaries 3. Present basic schedule options to associates, discuss business needs 4. Survey associates for schedule preferences 5. Feedback survey results; present final schedule options 6. Finalize all work/pay policies; associates vote on schedule for trial period 7. Discuss adaptation strategies with new schedules 8. Associates cast final vote for permanent schedules 12. Standard Operating Procedures Put simply, standards represent an organization’s capabilities. If there are no standards, reproducibility of results cannot be guaranteed. In many facilities, because shifts operate somewhat independently, over time, procedures tend to vary based on individual preferences, training and experience. Left alone, this can result in cost and quality problems. For example, in the auto parts industry, inconsistencies in operating procedures lead to quality differences and can pose problems when parts do not fit well together in final assembly. In world-class plants, operating procedures simply do not vary significantly between operators or between shifts; one operator does not feel the need to change all the equipment settings that the previous operator spent eight hours perfecting. This is because the “proper” procedures are known and understood. Consistent, detailed procedures are discussed and agreed to by representatives from each shift. Consistency is also a requirement for ISO/QS 9000 certification, which requires up-to-date documentation of process standards. It also facilitates problem-solving and corrective action. For each manufacturing process, written operating procedures should be developed that: 1. Represent the proper way to run an operation 2. Are agreed to and followed exactly, every time 3. Are clearly posted at the work area 4. Are reviewed regularly and updated as necessary 5. Cannot be changed without a formalized process to ensure that key performance indicators will be improved or maintained. Obviously, shop floor personnel should be a part of this process. They are most familiar with current procedures and are an excellent source of improvement ideas. In addition, they must buy-in to the final procedure and follow it precisely. 13. Goal Deployment In most companies, the goal system is not very effective in motivating performance. Each year, business goals are established, and each month or quarter, management reviews progress against those goals. But usually there is not a plant-wide strategy in place that specifies the actions to be taken to achieve these goals. And rarely does the goal system unify the whole organization and generate action and achievement on the shop floor. With plant operations spread out across multiple departments, areas and shifts, a unifying force is needed. Despite the best efforts of management, goal systems typically fail in at least three areas: 1. Associates do not understand what plant goals mean or how they are measured 2. Associates do not understand how to really impact performance against those goals on a day-to- day basis 3. Most associates are not directly involved in process improvement efforts, but focus on getting through their shift. What is needed is a goal process that has five elements: 1. It outlines a few major plant goals that unify the organization; 2. It helps the shop floor to set specific, motivating goals for the various work processes and teams; 3. It ensures that all employees understand the goals, how they’re measured and how to impact them; 4. It encourages team discussion and action on ways to achieve these goals; and 5. It recognizes associates, teams and the entire plant upon successful goal achievement Each of these elements must be present to have an effective goal system. High-performance facilities ensure that operating level goals are specific, measurable, understandable, controllable and motivating for the work teams on the plant floor. For each process, goals are developed which help associates focus on reducing scrap, meeting the day’s production schedule, minimizing downtime and increasing output per labor hour. Then these plant floor goals are tied into broader plantwide objectives in order that associates can see how their efforts impact plant performance. Frequently, work teams develop their own performance objectives in conjunction with their supervisor or team leader. Operating level goals can be powerful. At one manufacturer of anti-lock brake systems, simple, real-time metrics are displayed for the entire plant to see. Operators are trained to understand the numbers and the results speak for themselves: defects cut 70%. Units per day per person increased 11 to 18. Volume tripled while inventories dropped by a third. 14. Visual Management Systems Sports would be pretty dull without the ability to measure performance and enjoy the satisfaction of winning. A production facility is no different. Visual Management (also known as Glass Wall Management) is a concept in which pertinent company information is shared throughout the organization via a large Plant Scoreboard. The Scoreboard displays: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The key plant goals The supporting team/area goals Trend charts that show progress against goals Current improvement projects and status A listing of plant teams with photos In addition, area scoreboards can be developed at each team center to aid in team development and communications. This team communications center might show similar information as the plant scoreboard as it pertains to the team. It also often includes a training matrix and photos of all team members, the teams’ name and charter or mission statement and a display of standard operating procedures for processes that the team uses. Many companies utilize charts in the plant to some extent. But how can you tell whether your visual performance management system is working effectively? - Interview associates. Walk around the plant and ask people about the posted information. Randomly selected associates should be able to tell you how the plant is doing in each of the key goal categories. They should understand a little about the plant’s competitive situation and current priorities and challenges, new products and opportunities. - Apply the “stranger” theory. A person unfamiliar with your operation should be able to study the plant scoreboard and be able to answer the same questions within minutes. If they can, it is a good indication that you are displaying the right things in the right way to communicate a basic theme or message. Here are the basic steps to developing a highly successful visual performance management system: 1. Identify 4-5 major plant goals and explain them fully plant-wide. 2. Chart performance against these goals with large colored graphs. 3. Engage plant teams in each area to develop shop floor goals that support the plant goals. 4. With team involvement, develop shop floor performance measures and ensure understanding plant-wide. 5. Measure and chart shop floor performance as close as real time as possible. If possible, teams should supply the data. 6. Recognize those teams that achieve their goals or make substantial progress. Common plant goals might include some of the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Cost per unit manufactured Customer complaints First-pass yield Market share Customer satisfaction survey data OSHA recordables Output per employee Scrap/Waste Rework Manufacturing lead times On-time delivery Some possible team goals include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Cycle time at work center Scrap/rework generated at work center First-pass yield at work center OSHA recordables for team Internal customer satisfaction performance Degree of employee cross-training Attendance Line changeover time Equipment uptime Output at work center per employee Tips from world-class operations: 1. In plant-wide performance review meetings, spend more time recognizing accomplishments than pointing out areas for improvement. While improvement areas need to be addressed, people respond much more favorably to praise than to criticism. 2. Also, ensure that employees understand what the metrics mean. For example, if you measure first-pass yield (the percentage of products meeting quality standards the first time through the process), make sure they understand what events will lower the yield. 3. Minimize the number of plant goals and metrics posted. Management may find 15 different productivity measures useful, but one or two are usually adequate for shop floor personnel. 4. Post sub-goals to enable shop floor associates to see clearly how their efforts help drive business performance. 5. Measurements are more credible and better understood when conducted by the teams themselves. If possible, have the teams measure, report and improve their own performance. 15. Incentives, Rewards & Recognition In surveys of plant associates, the statement that consistently received the poorest grade is “Management recognizes employees for a job well done.” As you think about incorporating these Best Practices into your operation on your journey to world-class status, you will need to answer an important question: “What’s in it for your associates?” The promise of greater job security is not very convincing nowadays. World-class facilities are implementing creative compensation, incentive and recognition systems that reward everything from skills acquisition to teamwork to continuous improvement in operating performance. Whatever plan you use and whether incentives are financial or not, an effective system has a few basic requirements. It must be relatively simple to understand, measure and administer; it must provide a clear line of sight between performance and reward; and it must include a mechanism for actually engaging associates in a process of continuous improvement. When incentive pay is based on factors that do not directly impact plant operating performance, it is unlikely that plant goals will be achieved in a timely manner. The purpose of an incentive system should be to unify the organization to achieve well-defined performance goals like cost reduction, quality improvement and customer satisfaction. The most common financial plans include cash profit-sharing, gain-sharing and goal-sharing. In addition, there are numerous non-financial recognition plans that have proven to be extremely effective in building associate commitment and in fostering a partnership between managers, supervisors and shop floor personnel. It is possible to design effective incentive systems that reward at different levels, based on individual contribution, team performance or overall plant performance. But it should be tied to performance objectives that actually improve the bottom-line. Based on our experience in manufacturing plants throughout the U.S., we recommend a system that rewards employees for actually achieving plant and business goals. When costs are reduced, quality is improved and customer satisfaction is achieved, then the organization is truly successful, and the plan is self-funding. 16. Plant Safety, Loss Prevention & Housekeeping In addition to leadership in Cost, Quality and Delivery, world-class operations also experience nearperfect safety performance. It’s no coincidence. The same tool and strategies that make an operation leaner and more competitive also make it a safer place to work. At one food processing plant, the number of lost time accidents fell by 90% over a two- year period. The plant-wide effort to improve safety performance consisted of four key elements: 1. top management support and commitment 2. supervisor training and support of the safety effort 3. employee awareness and vigilance 4. regular employee training The first requirement for excellent safety performance is management support and commitment. In America’s safest plants, safety performance is the first item on the performance review agenda. Often, the plant manager personally reviews and signs off on all accident/incident reports. And it is the responsibility of senior management to ensure that the next three requirements are met. The next element is supervisor training and support. The plant cited above trained supervisors in safety topics and involved them directly in developing safety training for shop floor associates. Supervisors were trained in coaching techniques and taught how to identify unsafe working conditions and how to encourage safe work practices. In addition, supervisors were trained in thorough accident investigation reporting and learned how to identify root causes of incidents and how to prevent their recurrence. Making supervisors accountable for the safety performance of their people and providing the right training will enhance their effectiveness and dramatically improve site safety performance. The third requirement is associate awareness. In a complex manufacturing environment, there are many priorities and action items, and maintaining focus is a challenge. A creative approach to associate safety awareness often helps. Many plants devise recognition systems, games, contests and visual means of keeping safety constantly on the minds of associates. The plant above found that not only does safety awareness and performance increase, but morale and job satisfaction improve as well. The final requirement for near-perfect safety performance is regular associate training. Through the use of videos, operator-developed job safety training procedures and supervisor demonstrations, proper lifting techniques and other relevant safety training topics should be provided regularly. Safety training is especially important after extended shutdowns or periods of time off. We’ve found that reorientation training typically cuts start-up accidents by up to 70%. Another best practice world-class companies use is known as 5S. 5S is basically a plant housekeeping system that encourages safety, organization and cleanliness in order to prevent accidents, prepare the organization for lean manufacturing and TPM programs and create a company-wide discipline for other more complex improvement efforts. The term 5S stems from the Japanese words Seiri (sifting), Seiton (sorting), Seiso (sweeping), Seiketsu (standardize) and Shitsuke (sustain). We recommend devising your own acronym so that the housekeeping effort is “owned” by your organization. The terms aren’t important, but the steps in the process are. The first deals with clearing the work are of those items not used regularly. The second step deals with identifying and labeling items that are needed in the work area so that people have easy access. The next element deals with regular maintenance of a work area so that neatness and order are continuously maintained. The fourth component relates to standardizing the housekeeping activity through the use of formal audits with clear responsibilities. Finally, the fifth element deals with sustaining the effort by continual reinforcement, followthrough and example-setting by management Many companies underestimate the importance of a formalized housekeeping process. Our experience has shown that mastering housekeeping develops important capabilities and discipline that will be necessary for future improvement efforts. In addition, a cleaner workplace reduces accidents, improves morale and cuts costs! 17. High-Performance Leadership It all starts with effective leadership. Achieving a productive, profitable plant operation requires strong leadership at the operating level. Without effective first-line leaders, even the most talented, wellintentioned management team won’t be able to execute effectively on the shop floor. And most associates would prefer working for an outstanding leader in an average company than a mediocre leader in a top company. In other words, the right leadership pays dividends in improved employee retention and job satisfaction. So what should the role of the supervisor be in a high-performance operation? How can we develop effective plant leaders? Gone are the days when a supervisor’s ideal role was to dole out work orders and fight fires. In today’s high-performance organizations, a first line leader must function more as a coach, utilizing the talents of his or her people to execute a winning strategy. The supervisor must be able to work with his or her team to set specific operating goals, monitor performance, provide guidance and training, review progress, provide feedback, encourage high achievement, troubleshoot problems and implement solutions, all with minimal prodding from management. Such are the traits of a highperformance leader. The high-performance leader demands accountability for results but works in partnership with associates to help them continuously improve operating performance while maintaining a high morale work environment. The high-performance leader also functions as a mini-plant manager, making broad-based, informed business decisions that benefit the overall company rather than just his or her specific work area. The plant leader needs sufficient technical knowledge to make the right operating decisions, but it is even more critical that he possess solid people management skills in order to ensure efficient operation. Even in plants that utilize complex technology, it is people that have a tremendous impact on process efficiency and the rate of performance improvement. Traditional Supervisor Role: Ensure proper deployment of crew Enforce attendance policies Ensure that quotas and standards are met Enforce safety regulations and other management policies Discipline associates as needed Communicate with other shift supervisors Maintain housekeeping standards Etc. High-Performance Leader Role: Understand business/financial metrics Keep associates informed as to goals, priorities & direction of organization Help associates obtain the supplies, information and tools to do their jobs Play an active role in associate training & development Provide regular performance feedback and quarterly performance reviews Listen and acts on associates’ ideas, suggestions, and concerns Provide effective coaching and fair discipline Encourage associates to improve operations Facilitate problem-solving and process improvement discussions with crew Conduct team meetings on a regular basis Encourage cooperation & teamwork between shifts and work groups Management support and visibility on the shop floor are crucial to a well-run plant operation. In most industries, there is a direct correlation between management visibility on the shop floor and plant profitability. Too often, managers rely on the “chain of command” to provide leadership and shop floor communication. But the type of support we’re talking about cannot be delegated. Some call it Management By Walking Around, but it is more than that. Plant managers in high-performance operations build a “partnership” with the work force by maintaining focus on plant objectives, providing guidance and support and even coaching and development of supervisors. It is much more proactive than just “wandering around.” When operators see senior management in the plant on all shifts asking questions and showing a genuine concern and interest in the day-to-day operational issues they face, associate job satisfaction and morale soar. When associates see evidence that management is committed to improving plant floor operations, they too, feel a greater sense of pride and ownership. The purpose of a visible management team is not to micro-manage the minutiae of plant operations, but to “connect” with the shop floor and to experience the pulse of the operation first-hand. Managers in worldclass operations schedule regular in-depth walk-throughs of the manufacturing line with shop floor personnel and supervisors to discuss their manufacturing capabilities and problems. For high-performance operations, a good rule of thumb is as follows: the site manager and key staff department heads (HR, quality and maintenance) should see each team on each shift once a week. The operating department manager should see all teams/shifts in his area every day. Senior management also has the obligation to develop and support a strong supervisory team. Top management must help clarify the supervisor’s role, providing training in weak areas and day-to-day coaching to develop effective leaders that work cohesively, rather than independently. Finally, senior management must ensure that the organizational structure facilitates plant floor leadership, support and communication. Having too many levels in the organizational hierarchy is not only expensive, but actually impedes communication up and down the organization and insulates the senior management team from day-to-day shop floor activities and problems. Developing high-performance leaders often requires a complete modification of the supervisors’ role, increased support and visibility on the part of managers, development of leadership skills and an organization structure that facilitates communication and a sense of common purpose. We helped one organization realign their leadership structure to streamline communication, improve management coaching and better utilize the talents of the leadership team members. The result: supervisors excited about their new roles and supportive of the change, which paved the way for other improvement efforts. 18. Supplier Partnerships World-class manufacturers recognize that developing strategic customer-supplier relationships is a key to long-term success. Consider that, on average, over 50% of a product’s manufacturing cost is raw material purchases from suppliers. It makes sense, then, to establish a partnership between key suppliers to receive the best combination of raw material cost, quality and delivery. Developing strategic supplier partnerships are vital to World-Class Manufacturing. By working as partners in product development and improvement, both customer and supplier benefit. Strategic partnerships increase operating efficiencies by improving the flow of materials and information, resulting in lower inventories, higher quality and lower total costs. Many world-class manufacturers have begun moving away from a supplier selection process based primarily on cost to one that focuses on continuous improvement in quality, delivery and, finally, cost. By working closely with a limited number of suppliers and assisting them in applying Total Quality concepts like Statistical Process Control, Six Sigma and Quality In-Process, raw material defects and in-coming inspection can be eliminated. By partnering with a few suppliers in close proximity and helping them reduce lead times, a reliable flow of materials can be delivered (often, directly to the production line) with lower inventories, higher quality and faster response. Finally, close strategic partnerships with a few select suppliers will ultimately be more costeffective because of the joint effort to eliminate manufacturing waste in both companies. To achieve strategic partnerships with suppliers, it is necessary to implement a supplier selection, qualification and certification process. Start with your primary suppliers (those 10-20% of vendors that supply 80-90% of your products). Develop a detailed assessment tool to measure supplier performance according to cost, quality and delivery. Then, once the supplier is certified, both companies can work closely together to implement projects to consistently improve the supplier’s product cost, quality and delivery. 19. Cross-Training & Multi-Skilling World-class operations invest between 40 and 120 hours of training per year for each associate, while the “average” plant can never find the time. The solution is clear: commit to training! All of the improvement initiatives and management prodding won’t mean very much without a skilled, capable work force. A good example is continuous improvement. One facility we worked with had a continuous process improvement program in which shop floor personnel were encouraged to submit suggestions for cost reduction, quality or safety improvement. The program was even backed by financial rewards when suggestions were implemented. The program was a flop. The primary reason? Lack of associate training. Associates need job skills training to understand the “why” of their job, in addition to the “what.” They need technical skills training so they can understand the process itself. How can we expect improvements if they don’t understand how it works? Associates need problem-solving skills to be able to analyze a problem, identify the symptoms, look for possible causes, verify the causes, develop solutions and implement them. Companies that provide this training often experience dramatic improvements in operating performance. Finally, associates are often more effective when trained in interpersonal and communication skills. As organizational teamwork becomes more critical, employees and supervisors will need the skills to be able to coordinate across functional areas. Associates need to learn the concepts of Lean Manufacturing, Manufacturing Waste and Value-Added. As they begin to understand alternative ways of looking at their jobs, waste and inefficiency are no longer tolerated. To determine the skills needed in a particular area, a training matrix if a useful tool. The training matrix lists all the associates and all the required skills in a given area and denotes which associates possess which skills. Skills deficiencies are readily apparent and the training matrix aids the team leader in developing a comprehensive needs-based training plan for the year. In many team-based organizations or those utilizing manufacturing cells, cross-training and multiskilling are vital to flexibility and high performance and formalized training programs are a must. To encourage skills acquisition, some companies have adopted a pay-for-skills or pay-for-knowledge (PFK) program which rewards skill achievement with permanent wage increases. Other companies build training time directly into the work schedule, so that training an entire team is possible. Training and development of associates and supervisors is vital for any prospective world-class operation. Just make sure that training emphasizes onthe-job application and return on investment of the training dollar. In addition, provide training just-in-time – just before it is required, rather than in a plantwide burst of activity. 20. World-Class Performance Measures Every organization uses quantitative measures to assess performance, but for world-class operations, they are a critical part of their improvement strategy: Performance metrics are used to drive higher levels of performance. In worldclass operations, metrics are not merely reports of past performance, but real time tools utilized as close to real time and as close to the shop floor as possible in order to effect performance during the manufacturing process. An example would be In-Process Quality Control by operators who, rather than just report quality levels at the end of a shift, use line data to adjust and improve the process to achieve world-class quality standards. Performance metrics are generated, controlled and influenced by shop floor personnel. When performance goals are developed by operators, the numbers are more credible and employees feel more committed to achieving good results. Metrics generated in an office and fed back to the shop floor tend not to be as motivating. They are “management’s numbers”, a directive to be followed, rather than “our numbers” in which pride is taken in improving them. Performance metrics are dynamic, not static. World-class operations do not measure the same performance indicators year after year. They have systems for achieving aggressive goals quickly, and once those goals are achieved, they identify other measures that drive continued improvement. In addition, metrics are used not just to measure performance, but the rate of performance improvement. For example, a company may start by measuring On-Time-In-Full (OTIF), a common customer service metric that indicates the percentage of time that orders are shipped completely and on-time. Once this metric reaches 100% relatively consistently (a world-class benchmark), this metric is dropped and replaced by a more aggressive performance indicator, such as Customer Lead Time with 100% OTIF. Here, the high OTIF is assumed, and the new metric becomes Lead Time. It becomes no longer adequate just to ship orders completely and on time. Lead times on those orders are now measured and improved within the context of 100% OTIF. The continuous “raising of the bar” is consistent with continuous improvement and world-class competitiveness, but you need to make sure systems are in place to assist the organization in making continuous progress towards goal achievement. Performance metrics rally the entire organization. In most manufacturing facilities, the only group that really rallies around performance goals is the management team. To become a world-class operation, all levels within the organization must be engaged and committed to achieving increasingly aggressive plant objectives. There are a variety of options successful manufacturers have used, including shop floor involvement in goal development, performance incentive and reward systems, team coaching, etc. In fact, developing and sustaining this commitment plant-wide is probably the single most important thing you can do to achieve world-class manufacturing. Performance metrics are developed based on global competitiveness considerations. Too often, plant performance goals are developed based on arbitrary management consensus. For example, our cost per unit last year was $1.50 per unit, so our goal for this year is a 10% reduction to $1.35 per unit. Why not $1.25 per unit? Or $1.33? If goals are to be motivating and credible to all stakeholders in the organization, it makes more sense to establish goals on the basis of world-class competitiveness and customer requirements. For example, if our cost per unit is $1.50 and an overseas competitor can deliver the same quality product for $1.19, then maybe our goal should be $1.18 per unit. If our current lead time is 6 weeks and out customers are demanding four week response times, maybe three weeks is an appropriate measure. This concludes our discussion of the 20 Best Manufacturing Practices. As mentioned earlier, excellence in each of these areas can improve your productivity and profitability, but together, they have a powerful synergistic effect that has helped many facilities achieve industry leadership and global competitiveness.